Week 2 – Monday

Today’s conversation spurred two thoughts for me.  The first is surrounding the aspect of fear that the elite class began to experience as the working class grew:  are there similarities in what change or organized response brought fear in work unions and rebellion in the manner with which we respond to the immigration population today?  All this talk of fear and establishment of canon’s around the culture of the west rings a familiar tone with the English during the Industrial revolution.  The second is connected to the aforementioned canon:  what are we doing in our American “English” classes that reflect this promulgation of the narratives of US society?  Our canon includes Steinbeck, Emerson, Hemingway, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.  Is this part of a means to Americanize the masses?  What is the difference between knowing our heritage and manipulation of the masses?  In both of these circumstances, are we trying to fearfully hold on to something, projecting an elitist view discourse?

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~ by Brian Shope on January 14, 2008.

One Response to “Week 2 – Monday”

  1. Hey Brian – good work on your reviews this week. On your second point here I find it interesting a) the Ryan didn’t mention what the Canon was/is and b) that the canon you suggest is at least as certain points rather subversive. I mean, Salinger’s book has been blacklisted before, and Steinbeck has some fairly subversive things to say in regards to labor movements, and the plight of the poor in this country, let alone his rather bleak view of reality (that tends to side with the underdogs). That said, I wonder if there is any real canon that is agreed upon, and how our choice for what is in that canon often reflects more about ourselves and interests then some outside perspective. What do you think?

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